MARC Pingris admitted the situation of the Star Hotshots in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup got so bad it came to a point the players started blaming each other for the team’s slow start in the mid-season conference.
The boiling point came during the Hotshots’ 106-99 loss to the NLEX Road Warriors in Binan, Laguna over the weekend in a game which they controlled three-fourths of the way only to lose steam in the stretch run.
Their third straight loss without a win forced the Hotshots themselves to hold a players’ only meeting after the match.
“May time na talaga na nag-aaway-away na kami dahil sa talo,” disclosed Pingris. “Kaya nag-usap kami after nung game namin sa Binan.”
He added, ‘Nag-usap kami, sabi namin kung ano yung gusto ninyong sabihin, sabihin na para maiparating natin kay coach (Jason Webb).”
Other than saying Star has not been playing as a team of late, the energetic power-forward refused to give details on what transpired during the bull session among the Hotshots.
But obviously, the ploy worked as the team came out blazing from start to finish in its 122-103 demolition of Blackwater on Wednesday night for its breakthrough win in the import-laden tournament.
There were still a few lapses in areas which needs to be improved on, but Pingris said the win is just what the Hotshots needed at this point of their campaign.
“May mga adjustments pa kaming dapat gawin, pero overall, maganda ang nilaro namin as a team. Hindi yung kanya-kanya,” said Pingris, who noted how Star finished with a season-high 30 assists against the Elite.
The victory, according to Pingris, is also a morale-booster for the franchise going to its Sunday showdown with rival Barangay Ginebra.
“At least nakakuha kami ng konting pang-kumpiyansa,” he said.
Pingris hopes the 19-point blowout of Blackwater somehow gave Star an measure of confidence and allowed the team to put behind it a harrowing start to the tournament.
“Lahat ng teams naman pinag-dadaanan ‘yung ganyang sitwasyon,” he said. “Basta ang sabi namin ibigay lang yung tiwala kay coach dahil mas alam niya yung ginagawa niya para sa team.”